Tuesday (November 1st): Thunberg skips COP27

Greta Thunberg

Name? Greta Thunberg 

Westphalian identity? Swedish 

Age? 19

Why is she in the news? Greta Thunberg is back in the news after she denied her invitation to this year’s COP27 climate summit in Egypt. Thunberg chose not to attend the annual climate summit and accused political leaders, amongst other powerful people, of using the summit as a platform for “greenwashing, lying, and cheating”. Thunberg also attributed to his year’s lack of room made for civil society members in the summit as an additional factor to her not attending for the first time since 2018. 

Why do we care? Thunberg skipping COP27 is not the end of the world. Although she is a widely-recognized climate leader, what will be more important to us are the climate change discussions and mobilising a concerted international effort to fight it. 

Why should you care? Listen, climate change is only going to get worse. Only recently did we see flash floods in Pakistan affect over 33 million people, kill over 1,700 and cause over USD 30bn in damages. Without a concerted effort to fight against climate change, we will continue to see climate catastrophes, however Thunberg’s presence has no direct impact on policy so you should care 2/10 of her no-show at COP27. 

Who else cares? As we saw in last year’s COP26 in Glasgow, the Extinction Rebellion group protested the summit by blocking roads and with civil disobedience. However, the newly-formed ‘Just Stop Oil’ also cares deeply about the COP27 summit and climate change as they have notably thrown food at art and spray-painted buildings. When asked about the protests, Thunberg voiced her support for the group’s controversial use of shock-activism. 

Any further comments? Another leader that will not be in attendance to the COP27 summit is the UK’s newly elected Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak. PM Sunak’s lack of attendance of course did not go without criticism from Labour opposition leader Keir Starmer, calling it, “a failure of leadership”.